Caring For A Savannah Cat
Savannah cats are beautiful and striking creatures, but they can grow to be extremely large. This type of cat will require a special type of care from an owner who has the time that they can dedicate to this amazing animal. It is important to fully research all the needs of your Savannah cat before bringing them home. This guide will outline the important factors that you need to consider when purchasing or adopting a Savannah cat.
Kitten Proofing Your Home
If you are bringing home a kitten Savannah cat, there are things that you should to in order to have your home ready for their arrival. These things will protect both your home and the cat, so everybody benefits. Here are some important tips to ensure that your home is kitten friendly.
secure any doors or windows which lead outside, you do not want your kitten to escape.
- remove any poisonous plants.
- secure or cover any electrical cords to avoid your kitten trying to play with them and becoming injured.
- ensure that cabinet doors are secure.
- store breakable objects away safely.
When first bringing a new Savannah cat into your home, it is essential that you give them time to adjust and settle in. This period of time, known as a quarantine time should enable your car to spend one-to-one time with you, the owner and should never be rushed. In order to assure that your new cat feels secure, safe and at home, this time period should ideally last between 5-21 days depending on the individual cat and how it responds. If you have other pets in the home, this quarantine time is even more important.
Kittens can suffer from a weakened immune system after the stress of a move and can often pick up infections or illnesses if they are not quarantined for the correct period of time.
Your quarantine room can be any room of your choosing provided that the cat will be comfortable and have everything it needs there. It is also important to allow your kitten to feel comfortable during the time you interact with it, therefore some good rules to follow are;
- Allow your cat to come to you.
- Ensure a quiet and tranquil environment.
- Assist your kitten is using the litter box.
- Provide your kitten with a comfortable place to sleep.
Vaccinations For Your Cat
As with any new pet, Savannah cats will require a series of vaccinations in order to ensure that their health is at it’s absolute best. There is a protocol within the United States that specifies exactly what vaccinations the cats should have, whilst each veterinary practice might use different brand names, the vaccination given will all contain the same ingredients. The vaccinations that your Savannah cat will require are as follows;
- Rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and chlamydia. These shots are given together at the ages of six, nine and twelve weeks.
- Vaccinations are given monthly to protect against fleas, worms, and ear-mites.
Of course, even with vaccinations aside, there will no doubt be a reason for you to take your Savannah cat to see a vet at some point or another. The first thing to consider is that the trip in itself may cause significant distress to your cat and so it’s well-being and stress levels should always be taken into account.
It is also worth seeking out a vet who has had experience and training around this particular breed, not all vets will have the necessary knowledge in order to properly care for this type of cat and there is no shame in checking their credentials before allowing them to treat your precious animal.
Due to their smaller than average livers, Savannah cats may react badly to certain types of medication and so this matter should be discussed before the animal is prescribed any type of drug.
Your Savannah cat is going to need to have regular exercise in order to maintain it’s health and fitness, as with any animal. As a naturally active breed, the Savannah cat will need to be able to access an area where it can stretch its legs.
It is not the best idea to allow your cat outside unsupervised but taking it for a walk with you can be an ideal form of exercise for your cat.
Purchasing toys for your cat with which you can interact with them are an excellent form of exercise and the purchase of a cat tree will give them the boost of energy they need when you are not available to play with them.
If your cat is a sociable kitty, you can always set up a cat play-date in which they can interact with another cat and get their exercise at the same time.
If you are going to be taking your cat out on a walk, it is important to ensure that the animal is safely tethered to you so that it cannot get lost or run away. Since this will feel unnatural to your cat, it is essential that you remain patient and give them time to adjust to what is happening. Here are some great tips to help you along the way.
- Allow the cat to wear a harness without an attached leash, to begin with, in an enclosed environment at home in order to get them used to how it feels.
- Have the cat wear the harness around playtime so that it links it with something fun.
- Once your cat is happy wearing the harness you can introduce the leash and walk them around the home or in the garden, to begin with.
- When you are ready to take your cat out into the world, ensure that you select a place that will not pose any intimidation to your cat.
Litter box Training
As with all cats, your Savannah will need to learn to use a litter box. If your kitten has been using a specific type of litter with its breeder or previous owner then you should continue to use the same type to avoid confusing the cat.
It is a good idea to place several litter boxes around the home whilst your kitten is learning to use them. As they become more confident in using them, you can begin to take some away until you only have the entire necessary ones. Ensure that at this point, the cat is easily able to locate and access their litter box. If you have more than one cat, it is advised that each cat has its own litter box.
In the early stages, you should take your kitten to the litter box at regular intervals to allow it to use the box should it need to.
Trimming Your Cat’s Nails
The first point to note is that you should never declaw a Savannah cat. The practice can stand to cause some serious health problems for the cat and can cause severe pain throughout the animal’s entire life.
It is important to remember that a lot of cats will not like the idea of having their nails trimmed and therefore it is important to keep them calm and not to force the practice onto them.
- Begin by gently pressing the bottom of the cat’s toe in order to expose the nail if it is retracted.
- The area at the base of the nail which is pinkish in color should not be cut, it is it can cause bleeding and pain.
- Always keep a blood-clotting agent on hand for any accidents.
- Always cut horizontally to avoid splintering the nail.
- If you begin trimming your cat’s nails at a young age they will become more used to it and less likely to become stressed by it.
Toys for large cats
When your cat wants to play, you are going to need to provide some entertainment for it. There are many toys out there for cats but not all are suitable for such a big breed. There are, however many that can be used by your Savannah cat. Here are a few ideas;
- Cat wands
- Remote control toys specially made for cats
- Cat tree
- Scratching post
- Cat laser toy
- Ball on a track
- Larger balls
It is not completely uncommon for some Savannah cats to develop behavioral problems but these issues can be easily tackled if you apply the right knowledge.
Some of the problems that can show in the behavior of this type of cat are growling, playing rough and biting. There are various ways to rid your cat of these behaviors one of which is regular exercise and training. There are various types of training, some of which include;
- Clicker training
- Spray bottle training
- Time out training
If you remain consistent with your training, it is likely that your cat will begin to comply quite quickly. These are an intelligent breed and can easily learn which behaviors get them rewards and which get them a punishment.
Working with a professional cat trainer is also an excellent idea as they can impart wisdom on you that you may not have already been aware of and have got all the essential experience in training our feline friends.
If you wish for your Savannah cat to spend time outside and not on a leash, it is vital that you provide some sort of enclosure. These cats are not typically well equipped to survive outside on their own and do not have the hunting abilities to keep them as well-nourished as they need to be.
Your enclosure will need to be large enough to give the cat plenty of space to play and exercise. You can either build your own or buy a ready-made enclosure which simply requires putting together. The enclosure should have various shelves and levels to allow your cat to jump about and you can even include some toys.